Trump told to wear coronavirus mask for Ford ventilator factory visit — but he says ‘we’ll see’

Politics

President Donald Trump tours a Honeywell International Inc. factory producing N95 masks during his first trip since widespread COVID-19 related lockdowns went into effect May 5, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

Ford Motor Company said Tuesday that it has told the White House that President Donald Trump and other people with him will have to wear a mask for coronavirus precautions when he visits a Michigan factory manufacturing ventilators Thursday.

But it’s not clear that Trump, who has shunned wearing a mask, will do comply with that directive.

If he follows Ford’s policy, Trump’s visit to the Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti could be the first time that he is photographed wearing a mask.

Ford did not say that it will stop Trump from entering the plant if he refuses to wear a mask.

“Our policy is that everyone wears PPE [personal protective equipment] to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Ford said in a statement.

“We shared all of Ford’s safety protocols, including our manufacturing playbook, employee pamphlet and self-assessment survey with the White House ahead of time and in preparation for this trip.” 

CNBC has requested comment from the White House.

Trump has resisted pressure to wear a mask even as the federal government encourages it for all Americans going out into public.

Last week, the White House told staffers that they had to wear masks or facial coverings when entering the West Wing of the building. That edict came after a personal valet to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence‘s spokeswoman tested positive for the coronavirus.

Trump did not wear a mask as a coronavirus precaution during a May 5 visit a Honeywell factory in Phoenix that is producing millions of N95 masks for the federal government. That was despite the fact that workers on the production line did so, and despite a sign there that said everyone there is required to wear a mask.

Trump earlier had said that he would wear a mask if one was required at the Honeywell facility.

Pence wore a face mask in late April during a visit to General Motors ventilator factory in Indiana, days after being criticized for failing to wear one during a tour of the Mayo Clinic health facility in Minnesota.

The GM facility requires employees and visitors to wear face masks, as does the Mayo Clinic.

Pence did not wear a mask during a visit to a health-care facility in Alexandria, Virginia, which came the same day as news broke about Trump’s valet testing positive.

The federal Centers for Disease Control in April issued guidance recommending that Americans wear “cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”

But Trump said at the time, “I don’t think I’m going to be doing it.”

CNBC’s Mike Wayland contributed to this report

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